American mom raising French kids: Part 2

Part 1 of this series was: Cute stories Part 1

Stephanie writes:

It’s fun to think about language, as well!!… Sometimes I don’t know what my son is saying. For example both my kids called “musique” :  zique-mou (not sure how on earth you would spell it but it is pronounced like Zeek-moo…and Léo (jokingly will say meuf for femme although I think it’s derogatory so I discourage that) or they come up with some other slang that baffles me and I have to ask, what’s that? And they always say funny stuff –like I’ll say “go brush your teeth” and Leo will say” “Ca roule, ma poule!” or “let’s go to the store now” :“C’est parti, mon kiki!”…. or Claire when she is en train de faire un bêtise:  “mais j’suis sage comme une image !!”etc etc, I love their little expressions..

I also think sometimes my daughter would prefer that I were not American… like, she doesn’t want me to be different from the other Mamans. Lately when I speak English she gets mad and says “Maman parles Francais!!!” It’s like I’m an extra-terrestrial. When I get her at school and say “put on your coat” all the little kids stare at me, like who is that weirdo and what is she saying?? So a lot of times I speak French because everyone in my family and around me is always speaking French! And it’s really hard to answer back in English when everyone is speaking French all the time.

But I know I make mistakes in french – like often I forget the article, so I say things like “Claire, tu veux pates?” and so then she starts talking a bit  like me (Je veux pates!) because it’s what she hears…… and then my husband gets really mad and says “Its : tu veux DES pates…jes veux DES pates… speak french correctly or speak english because otherwise they will learn incorrect french!!!” I would like it if we could speak English in the home but although my husband can speak English, he doesn’t really want to! I guess its odd that at this point it really has to be Eric that helps Leo with his homework and not me, because it’s not my native language…sometimes that makes me a bit sad or feel left out.

Aside | This entry was posted in French culture, Language Tips, Stephanie. Bookmark the permalink.

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